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Macerich (MAC) Welcomes Din Tai Fung at Santa Monica Place

Amid the growing demand for its premium shopping centers, The Macerich Company MAC recently announced the addition of Din Tai Fung to Santa Monica Place. The move is expected to draw more shoppers to this well-known retail destination.

This Chinese restaurant, specializing in Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings, will occupy a prime, 10,615-square-foot indoor/outdoor location with ocean views on the third level of the property. It is also across from the newly announced ARTE MUSEUM.

The move also deepens Macerich and Din Tai Fung’s relationship. Earlier, Macerich welcomed Din Tai Fung at its high-performing Washington Square regional town center just outside Portland. That is also the concept's only Oregon-area location.

Macerich has a high concentration of high-quality retail real estate in vibrant U.S. markets. These properties are in densely populated areas, where affluent consumers with significant disposable incomes live and play, offering the company solid scope to generate decent cash flows.

MAC is also taking concerted redevelopment efforts to boost the quality of its retail properties, drive more footfalls and lure tenants. In fact, replacing the former ArcLight Cinemas location at Santa Monica Place, the ARTE MUSEUM is conceptualized as a 50,000-square-foot immersive digital art destination.

Announced in January and slated to open early next year, ARTE MUSEUM is expected to draw one million visitors annually to Santa Monica Place and boost the value of this retail property enjoying international and domestic visitors and affluent locals.

The increase in consumers’ preference for in-person shopping experiences following the pandemic downtime has been driving the recovery in the retail real estate industry. Retailers continue to rent out more physical store spaces to meet this growing demand. As a result, retail REITs, including Macerich, are expected to experience a rise in leasing activity and pricing power and flourish.

Recently, Macerich announced the addition of the Irish retail brand Primark at its popular Queens Center in New York City. Primark will occupy 54,562 square feet of multi-level space. Also, MAC has announced that Queens Center will welcome the sought-after European fashion retailer — Zara. One of the largest fashion retailers worldwide, Zara, is expected to open a multi-level location.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have rallied 18.7% over the past six months compared with the industry's increase of 2.1%.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the retail REIT sector are Federal Realty Investment Trust FRT and Essential Properties Realty Trust EPRT, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Federal Realty’s ongoing year’s FFO per share has been revised a cent upward over the past week to $6.43.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Essential Properties Realty’s 2023 FFO per share has been revised a cent upward over the past week to $1.64.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.


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